Gold mining with cyanide in Romania

For the last two months in Bucharest, Romania, are taking place massive protests against the government and the Canadian Gold Corporation Gabriel Resources LTD.

Basically Gabriel Resources LTD wants to expand and modernize old Roman gold mines, from Rosia Montana, to extract over 300 tons of yellow metal and 1,500 tons of silver. The quarries would destroy four mountain peaks and three villages out 16 in the municipality. But the biggest scare for rights activists and environmentalists is the planned use of around 12,000 tons of toxic cyanide needed for the mining process each year.

Romanian gas mask protester against Rosia Montana

Cyanide is widely used by the mining industry to assist in the extraction of gold from ore, but there are two main risks associated with the process: the possibility of cyanide leaching into soil and groundwater at toxic concentrations, and catastrophic spills which may lead to flooding an ecosystem with toxic levels of cyanide.

Last week over 15,000 people of all ages went and occupied the streets, protesting only with plastic PET's. This was the biggest public protest since December '89 when the communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu was over throne.

Romanian protesters crowd against Rosia Montana

Elder protester against Rosia Montana cyanide gold

Since the protests started there were no violent incidents and the police did not interfered. Students from the Music Conservatory gathered in the middle of Bucharest and started singing on their violins. Also the politicians which were approving this project, are now starting to back down due to the street pressure.

Photo credits: Dumitriu Alexandru.
Dumitriu Alexandru
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  • Alexandru86
  • Bucuresti, Romania
It is not hard to do what you want to do, hard is to put yourself in the state of doing it.

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September 26, 2013

This is the business of mining. Destroy the environment, extract the wealth, go bankrupt, leave the mess for everyone else to clean up.


September 22, 2013

Well of course they would like as less publicity as possible. For a handful of gold, they are willing to destroy the nature and put people in danger. And they got the nerve only because people in that area are poor and don't understand what cyanide can do if it will reach the water in the ground. Every civilized country in Europe has forbidden cyanide exploitation except us.


September 22, 2013

Wow, so bad. Thank you for sharing this...we never heard anything about this in Canada.


September 21, 2013

Many politicians only think of short term benefits. Invest in more environment safe technologies is expansive - but cheaper when you consider the the long term effects. Hopefully the protests wake them up and will change their minds!


September 21, 2013

Unfortunately politicians have it backwards.I think only and the best solution is to withdraw the draft!


September 20, 2013

I couldn't care less for the gold, what I care is that they wanna use cyanide to get it. There are other methods, but of course the need to invest some.


September 20, 2013

The first blood for that gold started to flow 2000 years ago with the roman imperial occupation. No peace till now and I think no peace till the last gold drop. I think the solution is like in Avatar, the movie :)